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कामसूत्रम्: Kamasutram (Set of 2 Volumes)

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Item Code: NAQ824
Author: Radhavallabh Tripathi
Language: Sanskrit Text with Hindi and English Translation
Edition: 2019
ISBN: 9788183153010
Pages: 689
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 1 kg
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Book Description
About the Book

Kamasutra is a work of encyclopedic nature, devoted to Kama sustra i.e., Aesthetics, erotica and love. Written between of 3rd to 2nd century Be, it is the first available work on Kamasustra in Indian tradition and still remains the most exhaustive and scientific work in Sanskrit on this subject. Vatsyayana, the author, deals here with human relationships at psychological and social levels presenting a comprehensive view of life. His text reflects the true spirit of India- which is the spirit of freedom.

Kamasutra stands for a holistic approach to life. Vatsyayana's concept of Kama has a wide scope. It is imbued with desire for creativity and to make life beautiful. Beauty and wholeness can be inculcated in life by the acquisition of arts. Vatsyayana has enumerated various arts in his treatment of 64 kalas. He talks of the dignity of derelict women, courtesans, prostitutes and harlots also.

The need for an authentic edition of Kamasutra was being felt since long. The present edition, with the most erudite Sanskrit commentary of Yasodhara and English as well as Hindi translations by Radhavallabh Tripathi will serve this long standing requirement. The text has been edited on the basis of Nimaya Sagar Edition. Readings at a number of places have been corrected and readings accepted by commentators have been noted.

About the Author

Radhavallabh Tripathi

Prof. Radhavallabh Tripathi is one of the senior-most professors of Sanskrit in the country. He has served as Vice- Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sans than (Deemed University) at Delhi for five years (2008-13), as Vice Chancellor on additional charge at Shri Lal Bahadur Shasri Sanskrit Vidyapeeth for six months and as Vice Chancellor in charge of Dr. H.S. Gour University on a number of occasions. He worked as the Visiting Professor at Silpakorn University, Bangkok for three years and as Fellow in Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla for one year.

Presently he is occupying the prestigious Karnatak Chair for Oriental Studies at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune.

Widely acclaimed for his original contributions to the study of Natyasastra and Sahityasastra, Prof. Tripathi has published 170 books, 242 research papers and critical essays as well as translations of more than 30 Sanskrit plays and some classics from Sanskrit into Hindi. He has received around 40 national and international awards and honours for his literary contributions.

He has been referred in various research journals on Indology. Research for Ph.D. has been completed as well as is being carried on his creative writings in Sanskrit in a number of Universities. Three Journals brought out special numbers on his writings. Seven books comprising studies on his literary oeuvre by other authors have been published.


Kamasutra(KS) is a work of encyclopedic nature, devoted to Kamasutra i.e., erotica and love. It is the first available work on Kamasastra in Indian tradition and still remains the most exhaustive and scientific work in Sanskrit on this subject.

1. Vatsyayana : the Author of Kamasatra KS is known to have been authored by Vatsyayana. Who was Vatsyayana? No historically valid record on him is available . In some old kosas (lexicons) in Sanskrit, viz. - Vaijayanti, Trikandaseea and Namamalika - Vatsyayana is regarded identical with Kautilya or Canakya - the author of Arthasdstra. Hemacandra in his Abhidhiinacintamani and Yadavaprakasa in his Vaijayanti say that Vatsyayana, Mallanaga, Kautilya (correctly spelt as Kautalya), Dramila, Paksilasvami etc. are the names of one and the same person. Another name associated with the authorship of KS is that of Kamandaka, the famous author of a work Kamandakiya on ethics. This Kamandaka is said to be the disciple of Kautalya or Canakya.

Subandhu, in his well-known prose-romance Vasavadatta (L.H.Gray: 1962:1b6) refers to Mallanaga as the author of Kamasutra. Yasodhara, the author of Jayamangala, the most authentic commentary available in Sanskrit on KS, also says at the very outset of his commentary that the real name of the author of Kamasutra is Mallanaga, and on KS 1.2.19, he again says that Vatsyayana is just the family name of the author of this text and the name given to him through samnskara (ritual for naming) is Mallanaga,

In this way, Mallanaga, the author of KS was a Vatsyayana like several celebrated authors. There have been several Vatsyayanas in ancient Indian tradition of acaryas or rsis. Paksila Svamin, the author of Nyayasutrabhat’ya was also a Vatsyayana. Banabhatta, who is well-known as the author of two prose - romances, was born in Vatyayana family. The author of KS became famous as Vatsyayana so much so that some of the other Vatsyayanas, by misunderstanding, were held to be identical with him.

Date of Vatsyayana

The language, style and the structure of Vatsyayana's KS as a Sastric discourse reveal its proximity to Kautalya's Arthasastra. Vatsyayana explicitly cites Arthasastra (KS, 1.2.10) and is indebted to it by borrowing terms and concepts. We can conclude that both these works stand close to each other in respect of their period of composition. M. Krishnamachariar therefore places Vatsyayana the author of KS in 4th or 3rd century BC Shama Shastri says that Vatsyayana flourished between 137 AD to 209 AD, while Bhandarkar places him around 100 AD, and Keith before 4th century AD. A.K. Warder (IKL : vol. 1:1989: para 25) suggests that Kamasutrawas probably produced in 3rd century AD. Doniger and Kakar (2003) almost agree with Warder by assuming that KS must have been composed after 225 AD. Vatsyayana has referred to Satavahana dynasty and has also mentioned the king Satakarni of this dynasty by name. According to Puranas Kuntala Satakarni was 13th Andhra king in Satavahana dynasty. He was son of Mrgendra Svatikama and he ruled in Kali era 2487-2481 (615-607 BC).

The Satavahanas flourished till second century BC The KS came to be held as a standard work on Kamasastra by 4th-5th century AD and it had made all earlier works obsolete by this time. Study of this work was supposed to be a sine qua none for courtesans, man of taste or connoisseurs, as is evident from references to it by several authors. We have already referred to Subandhu, who flourished in 6th century AD or before it. Bhavabhuti, a well-known poet and dramatist belonging to 7th-8th centuries gives copious references from KS in his Malatimadhavam. Damodara in his Kuttanimatam (stanza 77) cites the names of Vatsyayana and Dattaka as two authors in the field of Kamasutra. Even Kalidasa appears to have been familiar with the text of Vatsyayana and he indirectly hints upon it at a number of places in his Kumarasambhava. In fact, the VIII canto of Kumarasambhava illustrates some of the instructions and theories of Vatyayana in a very picturesque and subtle way. Thus the Kamasutra came to become a widely read and universally accepted work during the beginning of christian era and a considerable time might have elapsed after its composition to make it popular all over the country. We can therefore assign Vatyayana the period of 3rd to 2nd century BC.

2. Tradition of Kamasastra before Vatsyayana

According to A.K. Warder (IKL: vol. 1:1989: para 24) Kamasastra 'appears to have developed first under the auspices of materialistic or naturalistic (the Lokayata) school of philosophers, who maintained that pleasure was the highest object of human life and denounced the pretensions of religion'. This suggestion does not hold ground. There is ample material on sex or erotica and the areas related to these in Rgveda, Atharvaveda and some of the Upanisads, and this is not related to Lokayata school. On the other hand, at the very outset in his KS, Vatsyayana has made it clear that Kama is not the highest objects of human life, it is one of the three objects and is subordinate to Dharma, and even Artha in some respects (see KS I. 2.14-15).

Sex is a celebration of life and it is an activity signifying continuity of creation. Atharvaveda, which is described as the source of the concept of Rasa in the tradition of Natyasastra or poetics and aesthetics, has several hymns dealing with Kama. These hymns pertain mainly to charming a beloved. The 25th hymn in the III book of Atharvaveda expresses the longing of a man to command the love of his beloved. The man says there-

"Let the up thruster thrust thee up, do not abide in thine own lair, the arrow of love, that is terrible, therewith I pierce thee in the heart".

The arrow of Kama is described here as feathered with longing, tipped with love, necked with resolve, piercing straight into the heart. Vatsyayana neither refers to Kama as a god, nor does he describe his arrow, but the metaphor in this description of Kama's arrow unfolds the basic concept of his text, as longing and resolve form the very core of erotic love. The Tradition of Kamasustra therefore is as old as the Vedas and the Upanisads in India, and the Vedic seers frankly talked about the themes of sex and did not view it as a taboo, rather an essential and pious activity. Atharvaveda has many hymns on charming a beloved. It seems that the early authors on Kamasutra must have borrowed some concepts and classifications from Atharvaveda. In one of the hymns of Atharvaveda, the lover asks the woman to embrace him as a creeper completely entwines the tree (AV. 8.1, XVIII, 1.15,16). This description exactly tallies with the definitions of latavestitakam. (Twining vine) and lilatandulakam (sesame and rice embrace) - the types of embraces as defined by Vatsyayana. There are subtle references to other activities besides embrace, as well as gestures and expressions during sexual arousal (A., VI.9, VI.139).

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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